The Tractoria of Prudentius of Troyes (d. 861)

Prudentius of Troyes was one of the bishops in attendance at the Council of Quierzy in 849, which defrocked Gottschalk of Orbais, beat him almost to death, and made him throw his writings into a fire. He also assented to the canons of a council in the mid-850s which was directed against the predestinarian theology of Gottschalk.

His Tractoria shows that a little later in life Prudentius changed his views signficantly and took a very strong stand on grace against Hincmar of Reims, the archbishop who held Gottschalk in prision for twenty years for his theology of grace.

This article, recently published in Kerux 25:1 (May 2010):11-23, summarizes Prudentius’ extant writings and includes an English translation of his Tractoria. Enjoy!

Read the whole article, entitled “The Tractoria of Prudentius of Troyes (d. 861)” in PDF format.

The opening paragraph:

When the doctrine of predestination, the relationship of grace to free will, and the extent of Christ’s atonement became topics of debate in the mid-ninth century, Gottschalk of Orbais was not alone in asserting the inability of the human will to choose good apart from special enabling grace, God’s predestination of the elect to salvation and the reprobate to merited punishment, and the shedding of Christ’s blood for all believers. Remigius of Lyons, Florus of Lyons, Lupus of Fierrières, and Prudentius of Troyes similarly promoted such strict Augustinian tenets as the faith of the Church. This article briefly introduces the life and writings of Prudentius, and provides a translation of his Tractoria, which contains four chapters that succinctly illustrate his doctrine of grace.

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